December 16, 2012

We Are One Illinois Coalition Responds to Governor’s Call for Pension Reform

THE WE Are One Illinois coalition issued the following statement in response to Governor Pat Quinn's continued push to reform pensions earned by public employees and retirees:

“NO ONE doubts the need for pension reform. The question is whether it will be real reform that is fair to workers and upholds our State's constitution while fixing the real problem: The past failure of politicians to pay their share. That is not what Governor Quinn has proposed,” the coalition stated.

“POLITICIANS GOT our State into this fiscal hole by skipping payments, then using the money to pay for other vital services. Blaming workers or their unions won't fix the mess. And polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of Illinois voters rightly agree with us on these points.

“IT IS important to understand that nearly 80% of State pension participants--including all Illinois teachers, police, fire fighters, and City of Chicago, Cook County and State university employees--do not receive Social Security. For these, their modest pension is their primary and often sole source of support in retirement,” the coalition noted.

“THE FORCED-CHOICE plan pushed by the Governor and legislative leaders is a coercive diminishment of these modest benefits. Thus it is not a real solution to the pension problem, as the Governor himself acknowledged in 2010 when he said such cuts would violate the Constitution. Like the proposed Constitutional Amendment that Illinois voters recently rejected, this is a phony plan posing as reform. It will lead to costly litigation while the pension debt grows," the Coalition concluded.

WE ARE One Illinois is a labor coalition working on behalf of over 1 million statewide members to protect public employee pensions. For information, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment